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Thursday, 9 March 2017

Recession! What Recession?: Nigerians Import N460bn Worth Of Wines, Beverages, Others

WINE
Nigerians imported prepared foodstuffs, beverages, spirits and tobacco worth N461.41 billion in 2016 despite being the recession year, a report from the National Bureau of statistics (NBS) has shown.

This is indicative of either Nigerians’ taste for imported consumables or that industries in Nigeria are not producing enough foodstuffs for household consumption.
Daily Trust’s analysis showed that in 2013, Nigeria imported foodstuffs and beverages worth N662.19 billion, and this value dropped to N404.90 billion in 2014, N346.93 billion in 2015 and N461.41 billion in 2016, totalling N1.88 trillion between 2013 and 2016.

However, the main concern is that Nigeria imported foodstuffs and beverages more than the country exported, resulting in a trade deficit of over N1 trillion during the period.
Comparatively, the value of the foodstuffs and beverages imported was more than the value
of the same items exported, indicating that Nigeria did not earn enough foreign exchange from the exports to settle the high import bill.

The report showed that Nigeria exported foodstuffs, beverages, spirit and tobacco worth N864.52 billion during the same period, leaving the country with a trade deficit of over N1 trillion to fund the import of the same items.
A breakdown of the exports showed that in 2013, Nigeria exported foodstuffs and beverages worth N394.21 billion, resulting in a trade deficit of N267.98 billion when compared with imports of the same items in the year.

In 2014, Nigeria’s export value of N176.88 billion of the same items left a trade deficit of N228.02 billion.
Early December 2016, the Tin-Can Island Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) intercepted a 20ft container of prepared Egusi Soup, Jollof Rice, Ogbono, Yam Porridge imported from India.

The news rattled some Nigerians as it exposed how vulnerable the country’s economy is to imports capable of not only killing local industries but also eroding jobs.
The Customs Area Controller, Comptroller Bashar Yusuf, in a statement wondered “Why should indigenous menu be imported into the country at a time when investors are much sought after to boost local industries.”